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SLMC not decided – Refutes widespread media speculations

Sep 6 (LM) The SLMC today denied speculations in media that the party had decided to extend its support to the UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe. M.T. Hassan Ali, the Secretary General of the SLMC told that "we have not reached any final conclusion as to which candidate to support during the forthcoming presidential elections, so far". more..

Searching for an alternative to the present facilitation process

Sep 6 (PIS) The dispute about the location of talks over the Ceasefire Agreement continues while the election campaign gets under way. The talks appear unlikely to take place. But talking about the talks has accomplished a purpose. more..

Problems of a possible pact

Sep 6 (Hindu) IN SETTING out its conditions for supporting Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in the upcoming Sri Lankan Presidential election, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has cast the die for a polarisation of the island-nation's electorate into unitarist and non-unitarist camps. more..

PM, party agree to scrap Executive Presidency

Sep 6 (ANN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and the JVP have reached an agreement on the abolition of the Executive Presidential System during the first term of the Sixth Executive President commencing 2005. more..

Rail crisis continues on two tracks

Sep 6 (SAMN) The ongoing train strike entered its second week, yesterday with no compromise reached between the Railways Ministry and The Locomotive Operating Engineers Union (LOEU). Railways Ministry Secretary K. Saputantri said during talks on Sunday, Union leaders had agreed to the conditions put forward by him. more..

UPFA MPs likely to cross over: UNP MP

Sep 6 (SAMN) A senior UNP parliamentarian on Monday claimed several UPFA MPs were willing to cross over to the UNP to support UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe as they believed the SLFP presidential candidate had no solutions to key issues. more..

Torrential rains cause havoc in Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya districts

Sep 6 (LNP) Two major landslides that struck in the wake of torrential rains which lashed the Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya districts on Sunday night killed at least five people and the floods displaced about 8000 families. more..

'Kadirgamar killing is LTTE`s gain - India needs to get involved now'

Sep 6 (LNP) General Satish Nambiar a former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, Force Commander and Head of Mission of the UN forces in former Yugoslavia and formerly a advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka on certain aspects of the peace process says that India needs to get involved in the Sri Lankan process now because India is also responsible for what has happened in Sri Lanka. more..

Probe into malpractices at Health Ministry

Sep 6 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has ordered a high level probe into three alleged malpractices in the Health Ministry. The three alleged malpractices are purchasing of suspected syringes, mosquitoe nets and pharmaceutical items to hospitals after creating an artificial shortage. more..

Sri Lanka Jan-July trade deficit widens on oil

Sep 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit hit $1.372 billion in the first seven months of 2005, 6.8 percent wider than the same period a year earlier, as the cost of imports such as oil increased, the central bank said on Tuesday. more..

Darsha, Manjula earn Lanka gold

Sep 6 (LNP) Sri Lankan athletes performed well to hoist the lion flag high on two occasions at the Incheon Munhak Stadium when they grabbed two gold medals along with a silver and a bronze on the final day of the 16th Asian Athletic Championships here in Incheon, Korea on Sunday. more..

Sri Lankans feel the pain of people in America’s South

Sep 6 (KT) WATCHING the trail of destruction Hurricane Katrina has left behind in the United States, we in Sri Lanka were reminded of the December 26 tsunami catastrophe. Both are natural disasters, the suffering is the same. more..

Sri Lankan rebels step up attacks in eastern province

Sep 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan rebels, the Tamil Tigers, have stepped up attacks on security forces in the eastern province, defense officials said Tuesday. During the 24 hour period between 5 p.m. local time Sunday and 5:00 p.m. Monday as many as eight separate attacks were carried out against the forces. more..

Sri Lanka tsunami shelters destroyed in fire

Sep 6 (AFP) At least 14 temporary shelters occupied by tsunami survivors in southern Sri Lanka were destroyed in a fire, police said on Tuesday. The blaze at Peraliya, 98 km south of Colombo, left 18 families homeless on Sunday night, local police chief B P Ayupala said. more..

No clues about minister's uncle

Sep 6 (IANS) Hundreds of posters have been put up as part of a countrywide search for the Sri Lankan finance minister's octogenarian uncle who went missing last month while visiting India. A.W. Amunugama, the 83-year-old uncle of Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama, went missing from the Bhopal railway station Aug 25. more..

Chandrika Kumaratunga okays alliance with JVP

Sep 6 (HT) Contrary to expectations, the President of the ruling SLFP, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has said that she has no objection to the party's aligning itself with the Sinhala-nationalist and Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) for the forthcoming Presidential election. more..

Pro-Tamil rebel party slams Marxist deal; warns could lead to war

Sep 6 (AP) A Norwegian mediator will meet with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels this week to try to keep this country from sliding back into civil war, an official said. The Tiger-backed Tamil National Alliance political party reacted angrily Tuesday, more..

Sri Lanka's hardline monks back PM's presidency bid

Sep 6 (Reuters) Hardline Buddhist monks vowed to back Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's presidential bid on Tuesday, a day after tough-talking Marxists did the same. Analysts saw their support as a big boost in a race too close to call. But the backing comes at a price. more..

Troops kill three rebels in raid

Sep 6 (AFP) Tamil Tiger guerrillas on Tuesday said three of their men were killed and five wounded when government troops launched an attack on a rebel sentry point in the island's restive east. The LTTE said heavily armed troops attacked their Kattumurivu sentry point in the district of Batticaloa on Tuesday morning. more..

Don't rush tsunami rebuilding, UN envoy cautions

Sep 6 (Reuters) Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan tsunami survivors are still living in basic shelters and shacks over eight months on and frustration is mounting, but rebuilding communities takes time and must not be rushed, a senior UN envoy said on Tuesday. more..

Poll puts question mark on peace process

Sep 6 (HT) The run up to the Presidential election, slated for November 2005, is expected to polarise the electorate on the issue of the peace process, a process which will determine whether Sri Lanka will return to war and destruction or go forward on the road to peace and economic development. more..

Work on Norachcholai to begin next month

Sep 7 (PSL) Ground level activities of the Norachcholai Thermal Power Project in Sri Lanka will commence in October and the full project is expected to get underway in January 2006, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) sources told the Daily News. more..

CNCI welcomes progress on Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale power projects

Sep 7 (PSL) The Ceylon National Chamber of Industries has welcomed the signing of Sino-Sri Lanka economic agreements by the President with the Government of China, last week. The most important of it all from the point of industry and economy of the country is the agreement to establish the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, more..

Bullet riddled bodies of Tamil youths recovered in Ragama

Sep 7 (TN) The bodies of two Tamil youths Mr. Kirupairasa Rupanraj, 23, and Mr. Muthuvel Jegatheeswaran, 19, natives of Almkerny, Kinniya division in Trincomalee district were recovered with gunshot injuries Tuesday morning by Ragama Police in Western Province. The two youths were abducted Monday night around 10 p.m. from Ragama, more..

Sri Lanka records high export growth

Sep 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has recorded a high export growth of 10.7 percent to reach 560 million US dollars in July, the Central Bank said in Colombo Tuesday. "Export earnings grew by 10.7 percent to US dollars 560 million in July 2005, outperforming the 2.5 percent growth recorded in July 2004," the bank said. more..

No deal yet with JVP : Mangala

Sep 7 (BBC) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapske has said he is determined to go forward from where President Kumaratunga has stopped in the peace process. PM Rajapkse’s office has reiterated that the SLFP presidential candidate is “ready to meet anybody”, in order to achieve peace in the island nation. more..

July garment imports take a dip

Sep 7 (LBO) Garment exports dropped two percent to US$ 263 million in July, ending a long growth standing streak due to higher costs and competition after the quote regime ended in 2004. Sector exports for the first seven months are however up 6.4 percent but analysts say stagnant prices and lower imports by the sector indicate further drops. more..

WHO warns Sri Lanka to watch its migratory birds for influenza

Sep 7 (LBO) The World Health Organisation has urged Sri Lanka to draw up its battle plan for avian flu, as migratory birds’ stop over in South and South East Asia each September. The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus is currently infecting both poultry and human populations, though no human to human transmission has occurred yet. more..

HAMAS to propagate Tiger separatism internationally

Sep 7 (AT) The sale of Tiger flags in the down town Toronto, Canada is a normal sight, during occasions and normally other country flags are sold for Candian Dollar 30/= a flag whereas the Tiger flag is sold at Candian Dollar 60/= per flag. more..

UNP holds 54th Convention

Sep 7 (LT) The 54th convention of the UNP was held at Sirikothe, the party head office, yesterday (6th). The ceremony began after offering flowers to the statues of former leaders of the UNP. Speaking at the occasion Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, the leader of the UNP said if he won the Presidential Election he would usher in a 'Parakumba Era' again. more..

US front of Tamil terrorists appeals for funds for Katrina victims

Sep 7 (ANN) The LTTE front organisation, the TRO, based in the United States, has made an appeal to help the victims and people displaced by Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans. TRO/USA which is headquartered in Cumberland, Maryland, has made the appeal through its website. more..

Green Rebuilding: Sustainable Development in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka

Sep 7 (GB) This week, members of the nonprofit Rebuilding Community International (RCI) left for Sri Lanka to establish a field office for the organization's sustainable-redevelopment pilot projects in the wake of last December's tsunami disaster. more..

Paffrel warns of poll violence

Sep 7 (TP) Paffrel, Sri Lanka’s top polls monitor, has expressed concern of a possible escalation in election-related violence at the forthcoming presidential elections, the Daily Mirror reported. It said the organisation plans to have meetings with the Police and security forces on this issue after the date for nominations is known. more..

TNA representatives meet UN envoy

Sep 7 (TN) Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians, Mr. R. Sampanthan, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Mr. Gajendran Ponnambalam and Mr. M. K. Sivajilingam on Tuesday met Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan, in Colombo. more..

SLN patrol crafts damage fishing nets, fishermen complain

Sep 7 (TN) Jaffna District Fisheries Cooperatives Federation (JDFCF) Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) that their fishing nets cast along the coast of northern sea are frequently damaged by speeding Sri Lanka navy patrol crafts, fisheries sources said. more..

SLFP holds 54th annual conference

Sep 7 (TN) More than 20,000 participated in the 54th Annual conference of SLFP which was held Tuesday at Colombo Horse Race Square, political sources in Colombo said. The conference rally started at 12 noon from Colombo Campell Park and marched through the baseline road, via Reed Avenue and reached the meeting venue at 6pm. more..

Grenade attack on SLA sentry injures two civilians

Sep 7 (TN) Unidentified men lobbed a grenade at a sentry point of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) located at Mudcove junction, a suburb in Trincomalee town along Mattikali road, Tuesday night around 9.45 p.m. Soldiers manning the sentry point retaliated the attack. more..

Two more soldiers come under Tamil Tiger grenade attack

Sep 7 (SLA) Two soldiers received injuries when an unidentified Tamil Tiger lobbed a hand grenade towards the troops in the general area of ALLERS GARDEN, TRINCOMALEE on Tuesday (06 September 2005) night around 8.50 p.m. more..

Tamil Tiger abducted youth surrenders

Sep 7 (SLA) A twenty-year old youngster abducted and given LTTE weapon training after he was forcibly detained under Tamil Tigers for over two weeks has escaped from them and surrendered to the Security Forces Entry/Exit point at BLACK BRIDGE in BATTICALOA on 06 September 2005 around 8.00 a.m. more..

More Sri Lankan refugees return

Sep 7 (SLA) Thirteen Sri Lanka refugees, including one woman and three children were rescued by the Navy on 6 September 2005 around 8.00 a.m. while they were being dropped by an Indian trawler at the 4th SAND BANK, TALAI MANNAR. Preliminary investigations revealed that those refugees have paid Indian Rs. 3000/- per head for their journey from India. more..

UN Special Envoy meets JVP leaders

Sep 7 (LT) At a special meeting held with Mr Lakhdar Brahini, the special envoy of UN Secretary General Koffi Anon, the JVP leaders emphasized about the forcible conscription of small children by the Tiger movement. They further stressed that the UN should follow a steady policy on terrorist activities instead of merely issuing statements against the Tiger movement. more..

President has not contested against P-TOMS petition

Sep 7 (LT) According to the Supreme Court sources, it is learnt that no written submissions have been forwarded on behalf of the President’s party against the P-TOMS petition filed by the 39 JVP Parliamentarians. more..

Presidential Election - Unitary state Vs Federal System

Sep 7 (SN) At a press conference held at the Seruwila Buddhist Canter – Colombo 07 - today the JHU policy maker Mr.Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the JHU would support the Premier's Candidature in the forthcoming Presidential Election, on condition that he agrees to the following important policies – more..

New Police division will address Women, Children welfare- Nadesan

Sep 7 (TN) "We have established a new division in our Police Force to focus on the welfare of Women and children in the NorthEast. This division will play a visible role in ensuring that the rights of women and children are protected, and will augment and operate at the same level to the existing five divisions under my leadership," more..

Sri Lanka plans to set up a Whale Capital in Trincomalee

Sep 7 (CT) The Ministry of Tourism and the Sri Lanka Tourist Board made arrangements to develop and preserve Trincomalee as a unique natural attraction. A comprehensive plan of action has been formulated to develop the area and it also includes projecting Trincomalee as the island’s Whale capital. more..

JVP says it is easy to work with Mahinda

Sep 7 (AT) The leftist JVP party has agreed to work closely with Premier Mahinda Rajapakse, since it is ‘easy’ to see eye to eye, unlike the President. Secretary for International Affairs and Politburo Member of the JVP, Vijitha Herath told the “Asian Tribune” that JVP – Mahinda relationship is very comfortable compared to the ‘stressful’ and ‘bumpy’ alliance with President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Once a federal state is established it is irreparable - JHU

Sep 7 (AT) The JHU has pledged support to the Mahinda – JVP accord and will support the SLFP by signing an agreement today with the Premier for the forthcoming Presidential elections Udaya Gammanpila, Policy Formulator, Policy Formulator and the legal advisor of the Jathika Hela Urumaya speaking to the “Asian Tribune” said more..

It's a monster, I tell you

Sep 7 (ANN) We Sri Lankans have one trait in common. We go for things that we cannot afford or handle. The most-vertically challenged person drives the biggest vehicle in town. We fall for the biggest television set and pay for it for the rest of our lives in instalments. more..

Pros and cons of greater UN involvement in peace process

Sep 7 (PIS) The move by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, now in the tail end of her term, to invite the United Nations to play a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s peace process, has been received with mixed response. more..

Do the Norwegians feel the pulse of the South?

Sep 7 (PIS) Deliberations took place at No. 7 Juni Plass in Oslo before the travel advisory was issued. It was subsequently revised to warn Norwegians to be cautious when staying in Sri Lanka. more..